Hospital discharge data received by public health agencies has a reporting lag time of greater than six months. This data is often used retrospectively to conduct surveillance to assess severity of illness and outcome, and for evaluating performance of public health surveillance systems.
With the emergence of Health Information Exchanges and Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs), inpatient data can be available to public health in near real-time. However, there currently are no established public health practices or information systems for conducting routine surveillance in the inpatient setting.
Through a contract with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New York State Department of Health
initiated the development of a statewide public–health Health Information Exchanges with New York RHIOs. Daily
minimum biosurveillance data set data-exchange implementation, and evaluation efforts were focused on one RHIO (RHIO A) and one participating hospital system composed of five acute-care facilities.
The objective of this paper is to assess the potential utility of inpatient minimum biosurveillance data set data obtained from RHIOs for pneumonia and influenza surveillance.